Rationale for Dive into Earth Week
Rubbish has become a problem everywhere: even the most remote tropical islands are now plagued with litter which washes up on beaches and reefs, smothering and killing marine life and posing a health risk to humans. Non-biodegradable garbage may persist for hundreds of years, spoiling both the aesthetic and the economic value of an area. This effort in the Mamanucas brings together the tourism industry through the dive operators and resorts with the village communities and non-governmental organisations working in the area. It is the largest concerted and collaborative clean-up effort throughout the Mamanuca area. It has become a regular event held in the area with more and more organisations and people participating every year.
Aims and Objectives
Raising awareness and educating local communities on littering, the damage littering can have and how to minimise littering is a primary objective. Leaflets on importance of coral reefs, how to protect them and the effects of rubbish on the environment will be given out to community members to give them a firmer understanding. The Mamanuca Environment Society gives a briefing/talk to groups as to the importance of the rubbish clean up on land and underwater. Team leaders give talks to village children and village community members involved in the clean-up on the damage littering has on their environment, and how to be more aware of waste. A briefing is also given to the dive operators and guests involved in the underwater clean-up. For the underwater clean-ups performed by the Dive operators the Coral Reef Alliance an International organisation has provided a set of guidelines to follow in order to minimise damage through cleaning up in the underwater environment. (link to guidelines)